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Smoke detectors and barking dogs alerted a sleeping family to a fast-moving house fire on the West End early Wednesday.

The family of five was able to escape the blaze unharmed, but the fire caused extensive damage to the residence at 2717 Beartooth Drive, said Deputy Fire Marshal Jeff McCullough.

The fire, which was reported about 1:45 a.m., started in the area of a covered back porch, McCullough said. Fire investigators were unable so far to determine what started the blaze, he said.

Larry and Teresa Kennedy and their three children were asleep in the house when the fire broke out. McCullough said the family was alerted by smoke alarms and the family's three dogs, and all made it out of the house unharmed. The family's two cats could not be found, and they may have run off, he said.

McCullough estimated the loss and damages to the house and contents at about $300,000. The family has insurance, and the Red Cross was called to provide assistance if needed. The firefighters union gave the family gift cards to help with any immediate needs, and the family will likely be able to stay with a relative, McCullough said.

Furniture and other combustibles on the back porch fed the fire, which moved into the house through a back sliding door into the kitchen, McCullough said. Flames also spread up the exterior of the house in the back and entered the upstairs bedrooms through the windows.

"It spread throughout the whole house pretty darn fast," McCullough said.

The house was engulfed when the first fire crews arrived. A detached garage sustained some slight damage.

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